Top 20 Seattle attractions

Bellevue Botanical Garden

The Bellevue Botanical Garden is a 53-acre garden in Bellevue on Seattle's Eastside, established in 1992. 

It takes 2 to 3 hours to explore the garden, with highlights including a suspension bridge, Japanese Garden, and Rhododendron Glen. 

It's free to visit, and is open everyday from dawn to dusk.

The Bellevue Botanical Garden also has both a gift shop at the entrance, and a coffee bar with pastries and sandwiches in the Shorts House.

Entrance to Bellevue Botanical Garden

10 best things to do at Bellevue Botanical Garden

1. Yao Garden

This beautiful Japanese Garden has stunning Northwest plantings, combined with traditional elements like stone lanterns, stepping stones and a Japanese entry gate. Stroll along the creek bed surrounded by lush garden, and see Japanese pines, maples and azaleas, and 100 tons of basalt from the Columbia River. 

2. Tateuchi Viewing Pavilion

The Tateuchi Viewing Pavilion is the perfect place for a picnic lunch, situated beneath towering red cedar trees. Follow the gravel path up to the Pavilion.

3. Ravine Experience and Bridge

Stroll along the 150 foot suspension bridge, with close-up views of the abundant wildlife in this second growth forest.  The bridge is 40 feet off the ground, and is part of a trail that winds through these deep woods.  

4. Shorts House

Enjoy drinks, snacks and lunch at the Shorts House, originally constructed in 1957 by the Shorts family.  There's also a patio outside with plenty of tables and chairs to enjoy lunch, and many shaded areas to protect you from the sun.  

Cal and Harriet Shorts donated their house and 7.5 acres for use as a public park in 1981.  Another 26 acres were then donated by the City of Bellevue when the garden opened in 1992. More acreage was added in later years.

5. Waterwise Garden

This garden was established in the early 1990s, and demonstrates the use of low water plants. Learn about watering techniques like drip irrigation to reduce water consumption, and mulching to retain moisture.

6. NPA Perennial Border

See hundreds of types of perennials and shrubs at the NPA Perennial Border, with plenty of benches for quiet contemplation.

7. Rock Garden

The Rock Garden at the Bellevue Botanical Garden has dramatic, granite outcroppings.

8. Trillium Store

Pick up some fantastic gifts at the Trillium Store at the Bellevue Botanical Garden, with scarfs, bags, books, artworks and more.  It's part of the 10,000 square foot Visitor Center that was completed in 2014.

9. Native Discovery Garden

The Native Discovery Garden at the Bellevue Botanical Garden is full of Northwest native plants.

10. Waterfall

Admire the waterfall near the boardwalk at the Bellevue Botanical Garden, complete with lush ferns.

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